Game day: ready to go again

So, seven months, two weeks and six days – but, hey, who’s counting? – since our most recent championship outing we’re off again today. The summer campaign is underway once more, with all the promises it comes freighted with about the Holy Grail and all that, and we join the fray early this afternoon when we tackle Sligo at MacHale Park.

We’re huge favourites, understandably, to win this opening encounter in Connacht and win we definitely should. But if last year taught us anything it’s that every successive challenge that faces us in the championship needs to the tackled on its own merits. What may or may not be in prospect for us down the road can – and must – wait. This year, for us, it really has to be one step at a time.

I’m looking forward to seeing how well we take that step today. Stephen Rochford’s team selection for today’s match – assuming that the team he’s picked starts, which I hope it does though one or two late changes can’t be ruled out – tells us little about how we’re likely to approach this contest, though the talent he’s left on the bench (assuming those named as replacements remain thus at 2pm) hints at a tactic of injecting increased tempo as contest unfolds.

It’s that developing story – seeing the narrative of the game reveal itself, minute by minute, incident after incident – which makes Gaelic football so compelling and makes following this great cause of ours such an obsession. I can’t wait to see what the latest chapter in this story reads like later on today.

But first I need to cross the country and get there so no time to dally. It’s game day, people, time to get ready for action once more. We’re off again.

Up Mayo!

24 thoughts on “Game day: ready to go again

  1. The months fly by and here we are again. Best of luck to all today and may it be a long, long summer! Maigheo Abu.

  2. Safe travels one and all. Disgusted I can’t make it over today but will be following every kick of the ball.

    I’m looking forward to the reception for AOS when he makes his entrance to the game.

  3. Safe travel to all today! Lucky me, sitting on the train from Heuston. Will get to see U17s at 11.45. The bench in the senior match is the strongest we’ve ever had in my opinion. But starting 15 probably not the strongest. Best of luck to our heroes today! Maigh Eo Abú!

  4. Time to show we are all Mayo to the core.No room for doubt this year.
    Feel like we are under sustained attack for being good.Why dont they attack other counties who have fallen back…they being analysts, commentators and journalists .Ciaràn Whelan ractically making a living from running down Mayo.
    Onwards and Upwards.May our lads always take time to sign autographs!

  5. It should be a nice easy one for Mayo today. Lets hope we wome sort of a more insisive strategy in our forward play rather than constantly putting the ball into the corners whoch gives teams time to get players back.
    Enjoy the game all and hope the rain holds off.

  6. At last!!!! I live for the Championship and would be lost without it. As a lone parent with 2 small kids I will be watching it at home. My 77 year Dad is heading that way today with his Mayo buddy as they do every year. My dad’s brother recently passed away (RIP Uncle Sean) and he too was a massive Mayo man and loved the football and I know he would have loved to see Mayo lift Sam before he went but sadly it wasn’t to be. They played the Red & Green of Mayo as they took him to his final resting place and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It was so emotional and such a beautiful tribute to him and his love of this wonderful county that is Mayo. Perhaps he might have a word with the man himself!! Looking forward to the game today. Up Mayo

  7. Nice easy one for Mayo, let’s hope those words don’t come back to bite you lagan man. No such thing as an easy championship game. Ok it can work out easy if the attitude is right. Just look Monaghan last night. Fermanagh got within a point of them 10 minutes into 2nd half and they lucked under pressure. They then showed why they are being mentioned in some quarters this year and kicked on, winning by ten. We need to see this kind of belief and attitude from Mayo so we can push on to Galway game. Hon Mayo!

  8. I see the Indo’s obsession with Mayo is creaking on this weekend with Kimmage (who knows fuck all about anything other than drugs in cycling) stating that we’ll never win the All-Ireland during his lifetime.

    The editor of that paper has lost all sense of balance or objectivity.

  9. I wouldn’t worry about Paul Kimmage. All he does is look for publicity by creating controversial articles. He had one recently also slating Irish rugby players CJ Stander and Jared Payne for not being Irish.
    Tough game today, Sligo have a bit of momentum and are quietly confident of upsetting us. They have a good looking full forward line. I also expect Kevin McDonnell and Niall Murphy to start. They have an aging full back line with Donovan/Harrison that we hopefully can exploit. Regan shooting the lights out at club level would like to see him play.
    Mayo 2-12 Sligo 1-14

  10. I’ve enjoyed some of Kimmages books, but his observations on Gaelic Football and on Mayo in particular are as relevant as a feral pigs views on quantum physics.

  11. Best of luck to the Mayo panel today and hoping to see a win of some sort. I forecast a number of goals for Mayo and they win well in the end. Although, Sligo have been working towards this game for months and will not be sitting idly by, that’s the beauty of it, we can’t be certain, and neither can kerry or dublin.

  12. Cafferkey and Barret have not played a championship match for some time so today is a big test for both men.

  13. Can’t seem to make up its mind whether to rain or not, looks like it might blow over. Rain should suit Sligo as its always raining down there. And so the journey begins again, one small step for us here in the county, one giant leap for Willie Joe and the rest of our brethren traveling long distance. Bring it on, we could be heroes, just for one day.

  14. Baconfactoryend,
    What part of Mayo do you live in? No rain? I think I’ll move to your area. Lol.

  15. MAYO by 7 or 8 to day wont be easy but its sligo mayo to pull away after 20 mins and aidan o’shea for Man of the match safe trip to all on both sides

  16. I live the free life of a rover! Ok, enough of this crack, time to face the car for Castlebar.

  17. Fingers crossed for a good win today but will not be surprised if it’s a close call, with Mayo hanging on for dear life at the end. On paper we look to have a well balanced team, but what we won’t know until well into the match, how much the many years on the road will have taken out of our lads. Sligo will not lie down too easily and will no doubt have taken heart from the way Galway pulled one over on us last year, and in MacHale park too.

  18. Best of luck to Mayo today. Rather than letting their chance of winning Sam pass them by, I think they’re still young enough to learn from the losses of the last few years. Also, unlike last year, Stephen Rochford has had a chance to get to know his players fully and to mould them in the way he believes will take them over the winning line. Safe travelling to all and hope this is the beginning of the end of the long wait.

    Willie Joe, thanks for continuing to provide this excellent forum for Mayo fans, it’s very much appreciated.

  19. Won’t make it to game today unfortunately. Mayo will win but the margin is hard to predict. AOS seems to be the media scapegoat for all that is wrong with Mayo football. What a load of Bollox. I think they should have Aido taking selfies and signing autographs before the game just to annoy the pundits then bring him on in the second half like in the Donegal game where he destroyed them. I don’t think the Mayo supporters really give a damn what the pundits say after years of listening to same old crap. On a side note it’s quite amusing to see a Kerry man stealing their best talent and taking them to Oz! Up Mayo.

  20. “Ciaran Whelan practically making a living from running down Mayo”

    Thats a good one. Well said that poster. I wonder does it pay well?

    Now some fella called Paul Kimmage getting in on the act too. Fucking brilliant.

    Only one way to shut these fuckers up and it starts today.

  21. It was nt Paul kimmage who said that it was the guy he was interviewing. If you are going to be apoplectic at least know who are getting annoyed at.

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